Saturday, February 28, 2015

THIS Is American Exceptionalism

When we save lives, not take them. When we prevent civil wars through aid and assistance, not cause them with military attacks. When we make friends instead of enemies.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf paid emotional tribute to the American people on Thursday as the United States formally wound up its successful five-month mission to combat the west African nation's Ebola outbreak.

With Liberia now in recovery from the worst outbreak of the deadly virus in history, the visiting Sirleaf thanked the United States for coming to the region's aid in its hour of need.

"America responded, you did not run from Liberia," Sirleaf told US lawmakers in Washington, expressing the "profound gratitude" of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Liberia, once the country worst hit by Ebola, has registered 4,037 of around 9,600 deaths in the epidemic, which began in Guinea in December 2013.

At its height in the final four months of last year, Liberia and Sierra Leone were recording between 300 and 550 confirmed, suspect and probable cases a week.

It was in some of the darkest days in August when the Liberian leader said she reached out to US President Barack Obama and to the US Congress amid "grim and terrifying" international predictions that before the end of January at least 20,000 people would die every month.
But with US help, including a military force which reached 2,800 personnel at one point, there are now only one to three new infections each week in Liberia.

"We are chasing the very last element of the chain of transmission we have," Sirleaf said, praising all the international and regional military and aid workers who "reached beyond their fears and ran towards the danger and not from it."
When I traveled in Europe thirty years ago, there were people there still living who remembered the American troops who liberated them during World War II in France and Italy and Belgium and the Netherlands. People in Germany who remembered the Marshall Plan that saved them from starvation and economic catastrophe. People who would never forget, and would always view Americans as heroes, as saviors.

That's the "essential nation" I love, the one I think President Barack Obama loves, too.

That's the nation vicious morons like George W. Bush and torture-porn-lovers like Dick Cheney will never even know.

The nation repugs and freakzoids and warmongers and gun nuts can't even imagine.

Friday, February 27, 2015

What Do Liberals Want? Star Trek. Give Us the Federation, or Fuck Off and Die

Yes, something in the Sixties created a generation of liberals, but it wasn't the Vietnam War, and it wasn't the Civil Rights Movement and it wasn't Sex or Drugs or Rock'n'Roll.

It was Star Trek.

Women and African-Americans and Asians in positions of power. Racial harmony. Economic equality. Godless morality.

godDAMN that was the world we wanted.  The world we still want.

And its avatar, its center, its guiding light ... died today.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  Or the one.  But the many will never forget this one.

So when the spineless dems in Congress demand to know what we liberals WANT, we say:

Give us the Federation. Or Fuck Off And Die.

QOTD: Net Neutrality

Charlie Pierce:

In the FCC's decision, there is no more  a "long-term" plot for government control of Internet content than there is in Agenda 21 an actual secret plan to steal our golfs. All the FCC is doing is making sure that greed-gobblers like Comcast don't get to decide which content to promote and which content to bury. Rarely is seen so clearly the modern conservative notion of civil liberties -- the government cannot abridge your rights, even in an imaginary sense, but its real function is to subcontract that to anyone whose bid is high enough. Not what the Founders had in mind, I don't believe.

The Socialist Paradise (Really) of Minnesota

You don't have to cite Denmark or Sweden or France or even Germany to make an irrefutable argument about how Socialism benefits everybody but the filthy, thieving, immoral rich.

There's a superb example right here at home.

PZ Myers, who lives there and knows:

The Atlantic takes a look at Minneapolis, which is an outlier in several ways: it’s doing relatively well economically (it’s no Detroit), but at the same time, it’s managed to avoid extreme disparities — there’s affordable housing without the overpriced real estate at the top (it’s no San Francisco, in a good way). How do they do it?

Among other factors, it’s all about…wealth redistribution.
In the 1960s, local districts and towns in the Twin Cities region offered competing tax breaks to lure in new businesses, diminishing their revenues and depleting their social services in an effort to steal jobs from elsewhere within the area. In 1971, the region came up with an ingenious plan that would help halt this race to the bottom, and also address widening inequality. The Minnesota state legislature passed a law requiring all of the region’s local governments—in Minneapolis and St. Paul and throughout their ring of suburbs—to contribute almost half of the growth in their commercial tax revenues to a regional pool, from which the money would be distributed to tax-poor areas. Today, business taxes are used to enrich some of the region’s poorest communities.
Never before had such a plan—known as “fiscal equalization”—been tried at the metropolitan level. “In a typical U.S. metro, the disparities between the poor and rich areas are dramatic, because well-off suburbs don’t share the wealth they build,” says Bruce Katz, the director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.
But for generations now, the Twin Cities’ downtown area, inner-ring neighborhoods, and tony suburbs have shared in the metro’s commercial success. By spreading the wealth to its poorest neighborhoods, the metro area provides more-equal services in low-income places, and keeps quality of life high just about everywhere.
The Republicans keep trying to destroy it, but Minnesota is more of a socialist paradise than most places in the US, and it freakin’ works.
 Tax the mother-fucking rich out of existence.  Do it now.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

QOTD: War and Patriotism

Juan Cole at The Nation:

People who actually love the United States want to rescue it from foreign adventurism and improve the health and welfare of its people. They would want to discourage bigotry and black-and-white thinking, which makes war so much more thinkable. And they would eschew wars of aggression, a daisy chain that brings more wars in its wake.

Drug Testing the Wrong People

Divine Irony:

onefitmodel:ifeelprettyosopretty:I like how everyone assumes that people who recieve public assistance are low life druggies. they do the test, they find only 37 out of 16,000 people tested positive for drugs. then you fund out the guy who wanted to make them get tested does coke wow. just. wow.HAHAHAHAHA omg this is the BEST

KY Hands Public Treasury to Corporate Thieves

Stay off the new roads, stay out of the new buildings, Kentuckians; they're going to be public-private partnerships from now on, just like the showers that electrocuted 12 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Jack Brammer at the Herald:

After turning down a request to ban tolls for a new Brent Spence Bridge in Northern Kentucky, the Kentucky House overwhelmingly approved a bill Wednesday night to allow state government to partner with private sources on building projects.
By a vote of 84-13, the House sent to the Senate for its consideration the so-called public-private partnership measure, House Bill 443.
The measure would authorize the formation of public-private partnerships in which a private company could build, finance or operate a public facility.
Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, claimed the bill needed more work, saying it did not address open records information about the partnerships and did not specify public input for such projects. 
Really, Jim Wayne?  Liberal Conscience of the General Assembly and that's the best you can do?  Not even a demand for more state inspectors for such projects? How about:

"How DARE so-called representatives of the people hand over the public treasury to corporate thieves to slap together shoddy shacks at double expense? For SHAME!"

Shame on you, Jim Wayne, and every supposed Democrat in the House.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

QOTD: Lies

Rude Pundit:

Shit, if conservatives didn't lie, radio stations would go dead and Fox "news" would be five minutes of Shep Smith and hours of blonde women staring at the camera, smiling, hoping sweet death takes them soon. Lies are the fuel that runs the outrage engine that gets the base amped up and ready to vote for idiots. Lies are the titty milk to red state babies, needing to be nuzzled and told their fears and hatred have a basis in reality.

This Stupidity Is What You Get When Puritanism Meets Sex Hysteria

Americans can't get sex right. We deny facts about sex to teens, thus guaranteeing that they will fumble in ignorance into sexually-transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.

And when we find out that they have been doing what human teenagers have been doing for a million years, we freak out and throw them into the criminal justice system.

Yes, adults must be kept from sexual contact with minors; such contact is and should be crimes and appropriately punished.

But consensual sex between minors is natural and should not be prosecuted.

Especially when that prosecution reinforces medieval freakazoid ideas about male predators and female virginity.

Kentucky's highest court considered (two weeks ago) whether teen-age couples should be treated as criminals when they have sex and send nude photos to each other. If so, a third of America's teenagers could be exposed to felony sex-offense charges, the 15-year-old boy's lawyer said.
In this case, the legal fallout was one-sided after a mother spotted nude pictures on her seventh-grade daughter's phone, and discovered that she was having sex with her eighth-grade boyfriend at her house.

Both teen-agers could have been charged with the same offenses, but the full weight of Kentucky's law landed on the boy, who pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors for having sex and exchanging the photos. Then, despite his plea, a judge designated him a sex offender, removed him from his home and sent him to a juvenile detention center.
The state's high court is expected to issue a ruling within a few months.
Read the whole ridiculous thing.

KY House Lets AT&T Kill Your Grandma

No, that's not hyperbole.  Under this bill, AT&T can eliminate all land-line phones in the Commonwealth.

Think that's no biggie?  Tens of thousands of elderly, poor and disabled Kentuckians live in valleys and forests far from cities and inaccessible to cell service.  Without land lines, they cannot call 911.  Without landlines, they are cut off from help in an emergency.  Without landlines, they will die.

Not that the bought-off dems in the Kentucky House give a flying fuck about your grandma.

From the Herald:

First, on House Bill 152 — nicknamed the AT&T bill — the House voted 71 to 25 to approve the deregulation measure and send it to the Senate.

Opponents had managed to block the bill in the House for several years, citing consumer protection concerns, but it now appears destined to become law. The Senate has passed similar versions of the bill for several years and Gov. Steve Beshear quickly issued a statement Tuesday praising the House for approving the bill.
We've had 40 years of experience suffering from deregulation in this country, and everybody knows that deregulation means higher costs to customers and bad or non-existent service.

The only thing that stops corporations from scooping up taxpayers to ground them into dog food is government regulation.  Take that regulation away, and we're all fucked.

Read more here:

Stop Fracking in Kentucky Now

From Kentuckians for the Commonwealth:

Action Wednesday in
the Kentucky Senate
Legislation that will pave the way for large-scale hydraulic fracking in Kentucky is set to be heard by the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11 a.m. We need to drum up support for an anticipated amendment that would place a two-year moratorium on “high volume hydraulic fracking.”
ACTION: Please contact members of the Senate tonight or in the morning before 11. You can call their office directly at 502-564-8100 or leave a message through the Legislative Message Line (800-372-7181). If you’d like to email, you can find their email address or online contact form here:
MESSAGE: “Please support adding a two-year moratorium on high volume hydraulic fracking to Senate Bill 186, or vote against the bill without the moratorium.”
If you call the message line, ask that your message be delivered to your senator plus “Sen. Jared Carpenter and all senators.” (Sen. Carpenter is chair of the Natural Resources and Energy Committee)
Thank you for taking action!

Why a moratorium
is needed now
Kentucky already allows fracking, but we do not have the laws and regulations to protect our health, water, land, local infrastructure, air and rural quality of life from the unconventional horizontal drilling and high volume hydraulic fracking that is being planned for Kentucky. SB 186 (and a companion bill in the House, HB 386) make improvements in existing law but fall short of giving landowners and communities any real means of preventing the onslaught of problems that accompany high volume hydraulic fracking.
In testimony today, Madison County landowner Vicki Spurlock pointed out that no landowners were involved in developing the legislation (neither were any public health advocates). She wants to stop the “full-scale industrialization” of her rural area of Madison County that this legislation would allow.
The Kentucky oil and gas association board of directors voted unanimously to support this legislation, so we know it will allow them to do exactly what they want in Kentucky.
Please call as soon as you can.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

QOTD: Patriotism

Steve M:

There's a double standard in this country on presumptions of patriotism, whether or not Weigel notices it. Democrats who accuse Republicans of disloyalty to country are merely trying to turn the tables. Republicans who accuse Democrats are reinforcing a well-established group slander.

Wow, That's Now How Female Plumbing Works

I don't know where to start with this one.  I feel sorry for his wife?  Do his colleagues and staff hate him that much to not even try to prevent him from humiliating himself?  Are all GOP men that ignorant of female anatomy?

Oh, and Beltway press?  When he tries to claim he knew the facts all along but was just being sarcastic toward the witness, do NOT let him get away with it.

KY Repugs Put Trans Teens in Danger

All this bill needs is a monitoring mechanism to count the number of hateful, freakazoid attacks on trans kids just trying to use the bathroom.

Jack Brammer at the Herald:

Without providing much notice, the Senate Education Committee on Monday night revisited a bill that would require transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their biological sex or to seek special accommodations, such as a unisex bathroom.

The bill failed to get out of committee Thursday because it did not have the necessary seven votes to be sent to the full Senate.

But the panel approved Senate Bill 76 on an 8-1 vote on Monday night, minutes after Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, told reporters he didn't know whether the bill was on the committee's agenda.
Hey, he's a repug and his mouth is moving; of course he's lying.
Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, said the Senate was "prioritizing discrimination." He called the panel's actions "ludicrous, willful, and mean-spirited" and contended the bill violated federal laws governing equal treatment of male and female students.

He said he did not know the committee would revisit the bill, which is backed by The Family Foundation of Kentucky, until "about 30 seconds before they did it. No agenda of bills was ever posted for public consideration."

Hartman noted that two members were absent from Thursday's committee meeting and three members were not present Monday, including Democrat Gerald Neal and Republican Julie Raque Adams, both of Louisville. They voted against the bill on Thursday.
Hey, they're repugs in public office; of course they cheated.

You know what, all those repugs in the state House and Senate look funny to me, like they're not wearing the right clothes. How about a bill forcing everyone who votes for this bill to publicly, on live teevee, strip naked to prove they are accurately portraying the genitals they were born with?

Vicious, hateful motherfuckers. Vote them out of office next year!

Read more here:

Read more here:

Expanding Voting Rights in Kentucky

OK, Dems:  Take careful note of every House reputg that voted against this and every Senate repug who is going to vote against this and make sure the Democratic candidates running against them next year uses it in their campaigns.

Yes, apparently I do have to explain this in so many words of one syllable, because KY Dems are on the fast track to lose the House in 2016 right after they lose this Governor's Office this November.

From the AP:

Kentucky residents could register to vote on the Internet under a bill that passed the state House of Representatives on Monday.

Currently only soldiers deployed overseas and other Kentucky residents living abroad can register to vote online. But the House bill directs county clerks to create an electronic voter registration system.

Most of Kentucky's voters register to vote through the DMV. But the Legislative Research Commission estimates about 40,000 people per year could potentially register electronically, based on statistics from the past five years.

Read more here:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

No, Democrats: Money is NOT your problem

Or rather the lack of money is not your problem.  The corruption of Wall Street megabucks that Dems have been slurping up for the past 30 years is the problem.

Democratic voters see repug candidates with a D next to their names (Chandler, Conway, Grimes ....) lining up to suck Jamie Dimon's cock, and they stay home.  If they went to the polls, Democratic voters would outnumber repug voters 2 to 1.

Give us actual Democratic candidates, and Democratic voters to vote, it would give us actual Democratic candidates.

From the Herald:

Democrats have become a confused political party with a muddled message and an inability to turn out enough of its loyal voters, a party task force charged with how to revive the embattled party said Saturday.

“I am here to tell you the Democratic Party has lost its way,” said Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky, who presented the report to the Democratic National Committee WINTER.

The report, an effort to dissect the party’s crushing losses in last year’s congressional and gubernatorial elections, found “the circumstances that led to the series of devastating electoral losses did not develop overnight.” Republicans have done a better job adapting to the rapidly changing electoral landscape, it said, particularly in the area of fundraising.

Read more here:

The Abortion Angel

Divine Irony:



Gisella Perl was forced to work as a doctor in Auschwitz concentration camp during the holocaust.
She was ordered to report ever pregnant women do the physician Dr. Josef Mengele, who would then use the women for cruel experiments (e.g. vivisections) before killing them.
She saved hundreds of women by performing abortions on them before their pregnancy was discovered, without having access to basic medical supplies. She became known as the “Angel of Auschwitz”.
After being rescued from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp she tried to commit suicide, but survived, recovered and kept working as a gynecologist, delivering more than 3000 babies.

I want to nail this to the forehead of every anti-abortionist who uses the word “Holocaust” when talking about legal abortions.

Out of the Ashes (free online streaming) is a movie based on Gisella Perl coming to America and having to share her story with immigration officials about what happened in Auschwitz, even delving into why she performed abortions and how. It’s really an amazing movie and I highly recommend it.
Gisella Perl was forced to work as a doctor in Auschwitz concentration camp during the holocaust.
She was ordered to report ever pregnant women do the physician Dr. Josef Mengele, who would then use the women for cruel experiments (e.g. vivisections) before killing them.
She saved hundreds of women by performing abortions on them before their pregnancy was discovered, without having access to basic medical supplies. She became known as the “Angel of Auschwitz”.
After being rescued from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp she tried to commit suicide, but survived, recovered and kept working as a gynecologist, delivering more than 3000 babies.
I want to nail this to the forehead of every anti-abortionist who uses the word “Holocaust” when talking about legal abortions.
Out of the Ashes (free online streaming) is a movie based on Gisella Perl coming to America and having to share her story with immigration officials about what happened in Auschwitz, even delving into why she performed abortions and how. It’s really an amazing movie and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

No, Mr. President: Your Trade Deal Will Kill the U.S. Economy

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has nothing to do with trade, which is already plenty robust throughout the Pacific.  It is all about surrendering national sovereignty to corporate control.  A pure lords-n-serfs feudal economy in which workers have no rights, no money and no hope.  Here's the truth about the TPP.

Full transcript here.

Give Big Oil and Big Gas A Kick in the Ass: Support KY Renewable Energy Credits

Don't be fooled by the cheap gas the Saudis are using to keep us hooked on fossil fuels.  Before spring, prices will skyrocket again, well above where they were last fall, and we'll be fucked again.

From the Frankfort Climate Action Network:

ACTION ALERT: Support Extension of KY State Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency and Solar Energy!
Please call your Representatives today and ask them to support HB 349 to extend the Kentucky state tax credits for energy efficiency and solar energy. These tax credits are due to expire at the end of 2015! This bill would extend the tax credits until January 1, 2023.
Kentucky is far behind other states in energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment and these tax credits are among the few financial incentives available to people throughout the Commonwealth. They provide real assistance to people seeking to improve their home’s energy efficiency through added insulation, Energy Star windows and HVAC systems. It also provides tax credits for solar PV, solar water heating, passive solar design, and wind turbines.
HB 349 is in the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee. Please call the LRC message line and leave a message for Committee Chair Rick Rand, all members of the committee, Rocky Adkins and Greg Stumbo. Tell them you support HB 349 to extend the tax credits for energy efficiency and solar energy.
Legislative Message Line:             1-800-372-7181
Thank you!

Andy McDonald
Frankfort Climate Action Network

Friday, February 20, 2015

QOTD: Repug Economics

Via Tom Sullivan at Hullabaloo
Paul Krugman:
So what does it say about the current state of the G.O.P. that discussion of economic policy is now monopolized by people who have been wrong about everything, have learned nothing from the experience, and can’t even get their numbers straight?
The answer, I’d suggest, runs deeper than economic doctrine. Across the board, the modern American right seems to have abandoned the idea that there is an objective reality out there, even if it’s not what your prejudices say should be happening. What are you going to believe, right-wing doctrine or your own lying eyes? These days, the doctrine wins.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Reject Them Both

Via Down With Tyranny

Call Now to Stop KY Trans-Teen Hate Bill

The Senate Education Committee has just announced that Senator C.B. Embry's anti-transgender "Bathroom Bounty Bill," SB 76, is set to be heard Thursday, Feb. 19 at Noon in Capitol Annex Room 171.

If you can come to the Capitol to show your support for transgender students in Kentucky, please do! If not, please call 1-800-372-7181 and leave a message for "My Senator, Senate Leadership, and the Senate Education Committee" to OPPOSE SB76!

The Capitol Annex is the building located immediately behind the Capitol, 700 Capitol Avenue, 40601. For directions or questions, call 502.640.1095 or
  • It's an unnecessary solution in search of a problem
  • Absurdly demands chromosomal and biological proof of gender to use school restrooms
  • Opens the stall door to Kentucky politicians regulating school restrooms throughout the state
  • Violation of Title IX, the federal law banning discrimination in schools based on sex
  • Takes home rule away from local school districts and school principals
  • Targets gender non-conforming students, who are already among the most harassed--nearly nine in ten have been verbally harassed at school and more than half have been physically assaulted
  • Allows students to claim a $2,500 bounty for each encounter with a transgender student and more money for psychological and emotional harm
  • "I tend to think that working through issues such as this are better handled on the local level." -Bowling Green Independent School District Superintendent Joe Tinius

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Accident, My Ass. Throw This Motherfucker in Prison

If you don't, every endangered animal in the country is going to get shot by "accident."

Ari Phillips at Think Progress:
Officials have confirmed that the first gray wolf seen around the Grand Canyon in 70 years was killed in December by a hunter in southern Utah after he mistook it for coyote. The three-year-old female, named “Echo” through a contest held with hundreds of schoolchildren, was the first gray wolf to be spotted in the region since the 1940s. After being collared in Wyoming in early January 2014, the wolf had ventured at least 750 miles into the new territory — further evidence that gray wolf populations are coming back from the brink of extinction after decades of reckless killings.

Terrorists Are White Men With Guns and a Grudge

Maybe the Warren Terra wouldn't seem so intractable if we started paying attention to the people who are actually committing terrorism and the weapons they are actually using.

(Last week), an outspoken white atheist murdered three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We don’t yet know for sure whether this was a hate crime or whether the killer, Craig Stephen Hicks, had some other motivation; police have said the crime may have grown out of a dispute over parking. We do know that had Hicks been a Muslim and his victims atheists, few would be waiting for all the facts to come in before declaring him a terrorist. We know that there would be the usual calls for other Muslims to condemn the killings, coupled with the usual failure to take note of the many Muslims who did. And we know that demands for Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins to distance themselves from Hicks are largely facetious, because no one really blames them. Violence perpetrated by Muslims is almost always seen as part of a global conspiracy, whereas white men like Hicks are usually seen as isolated psychopaths.

There is, of course, some truth there. An organized jihadist movement exists; an organized cadre of terroristic atheists does not. Yet in the United States, Islamophobia has been a consistent motivator of violence. Hicks’s killing of Yusor Mohammad, her husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, should not be treated like a man-bites-dog story, a reversal of the usual pattern of terrorism. After all, Muslims in the United States are more often the victims of ideological violence than the perpetrators of it.

According to the latest FBI statistics, there were more than 160 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2013. Mosques and Islamic centers have been firebombed and vandalized; seven mosques were attacked during Ramadan alone in 2012. Several Muslims, or people thought to be Muslim, have been murdered or viciously attacked. In 2010, a white college student and self-described patriot tried to slash the throat of Bangladeshi cab driver Ahmed Sharif. The white supremacist who slaughtered six people in a Sikh temple in 2012 may have thought he was targeting Muslims. So, apparently, did Erika Menendez, the homeless New Yorker who pushed a man named Sunando Sen in front of a subway train that same year.

In most cases, the perpetrators have been disaffected, disaffiliated losers rather than part of any movement, but they’ve picked up broader currents of hatred and conspiracy theorizing. (The same can be said of some lone-wolf Muslim terrorists like Man Haron Monis, the fraudster and criminal who took hostages in Sydney last year, or the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston marathon in 2013.) We don’t yet know if Hicks was driven by lonely fanaticism, but if he was, he’s not as much of an anomaly as he might at first appear. Explicitly atheist violence is unusual, but Hicks still fits the profile of the most common type of American terrorist: a white man with a weapon and a grudge.

Work for Grimes to Do

Instead of sitting on her ass waiting for another "gimme" election to roll around, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes might consider spending her second term doing her actual job: making it easier for all Kentuckians to vote.

Voter turnout in the U.S. during the last midterm election hit the lowest point since the 1940s. The number of Americans heading to the polls each election has been declining for the last fifty years and lawmakers have recently been pushing efforts to keep even more people away from the polls.

People do not exercise their right to vote for various reasons, some of which are easier to solve than others. According to a U.S. Census report from 2013, 14 percent of nonvoting respondents were unable to participate because of an illness or disability, 8.6 percent were out of town, 12.7 percent did not like the candidates or campaign issues and almost 19 percent were too busy. Some people cannot take time off from work on a Tuesday in November, which has led lawmakers including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to call for making Election Day a federal holiday. Others may not feel engaged in politics or informed enough to vote, while 5.85 million U.S. citizens are prohibited from voting due to a felony conviction on their records.

Voting advocates, including those who spoke at the Elections and Voting Summit (two weeks ago), have been developing and pushing for new ways to get more people to the polls. Unlike laws that restrict access through voter ID laws, shorter registration and early voting periods and disenfranchising felons, these proposals are likely to have support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and would not be difficult to implement to get voters to turn out in higher numbers.

Make registering to vote easier


Streamline and simplify voting

Allow people to vote online


Hire invested and engaged poll workers

Get people excited about politics between elections
If Grimes had spent a minute of her first three years in office working to make these improvements for Kentucky voters, she might not have lost the U.S. Senate race last year by 15 points to the most hated politician in the Commonwealth.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


So who will be the first freakazoid authoritarian hypocrite to declare that she deserved it for not submitting instantaneously to Big White Cop (yeah, you know who's white and who's black)?  Besides, the kid would just be another moocher anyway.

Crooks and Liars:

A Georgia woman claimed in a lawsuit that police officers in Albany beat her so badly that she had a miscarriage.

In a complaint filed in federal court, Kenya Harris explained that she went to the Albany Police Department in May 2011 to pick up her minor son after he was arrested, according to Courthouse News.

Harris said she waited five hours for her son before informing Officers Ryan Jenkins that she needed to return home to take care of her other children.

"Defendant Officer Jenkins stated that he did not appreciate the tone in which she was communicating with him, and further stated that if she continued he would take her head and 'put it to the floor,'" the lawsuit stated.

The mother once again insisted that she needed to leave, and that's when Jenkins decided to use force.
"Defendant Officer Jenkins, without provocation, grabbed plaintiff, who weighs less than one hundred twenty (120) pounds, by her neck and slammed her to the ground," the lawsuit said. "Plaintiff momentarily blacked out and came to with defendant Officer Jenkins sitting on her back, and with his knee on her arm. Plaintiff was pregnant at the time."

"Defendant Officer Jenkins put handcuffs on plaintiff and slammed her against the wall. Plaintiff was placed into an interrogation room after she was beaten and handcuffed."

Harris asked for medical attention, but officers denied the request. Instead, she was charged with obstruction, and spent one night in the Dougherty County Jail.

In the lawsuit, Harris asserted that excessive force caused her miscarriage. She also suffered injuries to her knee, neck and other areas.

"With malice, defendants Officer Jenkins and with the compliance of Officer Brown, repeatedly slammed Ms. Harris, causing her severe physical harm and the loss of her baby, when less force was required and should have been used," the complain noted.

The lawsuit names Officers Ryan Jenkins and Richard Brown, Jr., Police Chief John Proctor, and the City of Albany. Harris is seeking $50,000 plus punitive damages for excessive force, assault and battery and emotional distress.

A Supreme Bunch of Thugs for Plutocracy

I was born just a few years after Brown v Board of Education, and for most of my life the Supreme Court was the lodestone, the guiding light of liberal social justice in this country.

Thanks to the Warren Court, I grew up and reached middle age in a country where no one could legally deny me the right to an equal education, to the right to vote, to live and work where I wished, to legal representation, to birth control, to political dissent, to protection from police invasion, to an abortion on demand.

That all started disappearing when RayGun made Rehnquist Chief Justice. But even with Thomas and Scalia, half-century-old rights prevailed.

Until now.

From the Nation:

The sad irony is that, rather than serve its traditional role as the institution of government where those shut out of the political process can find a voice, the Court has used its rulings to strengthen the already deafening voices of the wealthy and powerful. At the same time, it has insulated itself and the lower federal courts from the pleas of the politically disfavored by slamming shut the courthouse doors.
Here is a list of ten areas in which the Court has failed those Americans most in need of its protection.
§ Access to justice: Georgetown law professor David Cole recently wrote that “what most defines the Roberts Court may be its hostility to courts themselves.” In case after case, the Court has erected new hurdles for those who have been harmed and seek redress in the courts. It has allowed companies to use fine print to take away the right to trial by a jury or a judge for consumers and employees; it has also made it more difficult for victims of corporate wrongdoing to band together, and made it easier for claims of relief to be thrown out of court at the earliest stages. As Justice Elena Kagan wrote in dissent in one such case, the “nutshell version” of the message for those seeking to stand up for their rights in court is: “Too darn bad.”
§ Business: The Roberts Court has made Mitt Romney’s statement that “corporations are people, my friend,” a central component of its jurisprudence. It has imbued corporations with the right to religious expression, as well as the right to free speech through political advertising and unlimited political spending. Spurred on by an elite Supreme Court bar largely in the service of wealthy corporate clients, the Roberts Court has become the most pro-business Supreme Court in generations. According to a study written in part by conservative Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner, the five conservatives on the Roberts Court are all among the top ten most pro-business justices since 1946—with Alito and Roberts ranking first and second.
§Workers’ rights: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in 2013 that the majority of the Court “is blind to the realities of the workplace.” That blindness has manifested itself in decisions limiting government employees’ free speech and collective-bargaining rights; barring Lilly Ledbetter’s claim for decades of pay discrimination; raising the bar for proving age discrimination; preventing more than 1 million Walmart employees from having their day in court to allege gender discrimination; limiting the availability of overtime pay; redefining “supervisor” to allow employers to avoid liability; and making it more difficult for employees to prove retaliation by their employers.
§ Voting rights: The Roberts Court ripped the heart out of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder. In a stunning display of judicial hubris, the Court dismissed the 15,000-page congressional record in support of the act, as well as the language of the Fifteenth Amendment, which empowers Congress to enforce the right to vote free of racial discrimination. The decision was the culmination of a career-long mission by the chief justice to undermine the act, which he fought to limit as a young lawyer in the Reagan administration. And it has unleashed a torrent of state voter-suppression measures that target African-Americans, Latinos, the poor and the young.
§ Guns: The Court struck a blow against those living in communities plagued by gun violence when the majority held for the first time that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to gun ownership and struck down the gun-violence-prevention laws enacted in Washington, DC. This “law-changing decision,” in the words of then-Justice John Paul Stevens, upended decades-old Supreme Court precedent on which hundreds of judges had relied.
§ Religion: The Roberts Court has drawn sharp lines favoring believers over nonbelievers and majority believers over minority believers. The Court has upheld the practice of beginning town meetings with a (Christian) prayer, denied taxpayers standing to challenge a public-subsidy program that gave money to private (Christian) religious schools, and reversed a decision prohibiting the display of a cross in a federal park. Also, as Justice Ginsburg wrote in her Hobby Lobby dissent, “In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises…can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.” In other words, they can impose their religious views on the rest of us.
Although the Court’s docket for its tenth term is not yet complete, it already includes cases that could deprive some 13 million low-income Americans of the subsidies they need to afford health insurance; affect whether as many as 8 million LGBT Americans in thirty-three states can marry; dilute the power of minority voters; permit employers to force women to choose between healthy pregnancies and their jobs; and make it much more difficult to remedy housing discrimination.
John Roberts turned 60 in January. Because of lifetime tenure, we may be looking at another two decades or more with Roberts as chief justice. But two of his fellow conservative justices—Scalia and Kennedy—are 78. It is likely that the next president will nominate their replacements, as well as those for 81-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg and 76-year-old Stephen Breyer. The 2016 presidential election is likely to determine the Court’s direction for at least a generation. Will it be a Roberts Court in which the chief justice is consistently in the majority, or will it be one in which Roberts plays the role of dissenter as he watches a progressive majority remedy the damage of his first decade? The voters will decide.

Who's Afraid of a Lone Wolf?

Terrorism carries a special brand of fear due to its political motivation.

But the "lone wolf" threat in the US? Considering the threat we live with from our fellow "lone wolf" citizens every day, even from political violence, it ridiculously hysterical. Nobody bats an eye at abortion clinics being targeted for years on end. A couple of right wing lunatics gunned down police officers in Las Vegas with a political beef a few months back and we didn't launch a national crusade against it. We can't even sustain any alarm at kids shooting up kids in schools for longer than a couple of days. We hardly even report it anymore it's so old hat. If there's one nation on earth that knows how to keep calm and carry on in the face of random armed misfits gunning down strangers it's us.

From what I gather from the comments of various law enforcement officials and terrorism experts, the threat that concerns them is the Lone Wolf scenario. I'm sure it's very scary. But again, what makes it so much scarier than Adam Lanza or James Holmes or Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold? I don't think anyone wants those kinds of killings but we haven't decided to turn ourselves into a full-blown police state to stop them. In fact, we have pretty much done nothing to stop them, even the smallest common sense measures like trying to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill kids. So all this handwringing over Muslim lone wolves seems just a bit over the top.

But it is very convenient and lucrative for certain politicians, news networks and military contractors, so there's that ...

AynRandy's Disturbing World, Taxes Edition

Repugs lie about everything because they have to: reality, facts and science contradict every political and cultural position they hold, so only blatant lies allow them to function.

The Tribble-Toupeed One is a master at it, to the point that he makes every the most cynical observers wonder if he really believes the utter bullshit he spouts.

Steve Benen at Maddowblog:

But while all of that was alarming nonsense from a likely presidential candidate, it was Rand Paul’s take on the 1990s that was kind of hilarious.
Rand Paul, speaking yesterday to a conservative group (his remarks were generously provided by Dave Weigel), explained his view on the proper formula for economic prosperity: tax cuts, and plenty of ‘em.
“When we dramatically lowered tax rates in the ’80s, we got an enormous boom in our country, probably for two decades,” explained the 2016 presidential candidate. “Many of us believe that the ’80s and the ’90s, once the boom began, had a lot to do with lowering the tax rates.”
The problem for Paul is that there are elements of reality that discredit his theory. For example, when Reagan cut taxes, economic conditions deteriorated thanks to high interest rates. When Reagan realized he’d cut taxes too much and reversed course, raising taxes seven of the eight years he was in office, the economy improved.
Similarly, when Clinton raised income tax rates in the early ’90s, the right said a recession was sure to follow. Instead, the economy boomed. Under Rand Paul’s vision, this was literally impossible – if “lowering the tax rates” creates massive growth, how did higher tax rates produce robust prosperity?
For that matter, how would Paul explain the recessions in 1982 and 1991? And how would he rationalize the dreadful economy under Bush/Cheney – after they imposed tax cuts the country couldn’t afford?
Look, I realize the junior senator from Kentucky isn’t an economic expert. But I’m not asking him to remember the economic policies of the Fillmore administration – there was a brutal recession in 1853, by the way – so much as I’m suggesting Rand Paul should at least be able to remember what happened recently.
If he’s going to talk about the economic policies of the last 30 years, shouldn’t the senator have some basic familiarity with the subject matter?

Monday, February 16, 2015

How Men Have Benefited from Feminism

And the list doesn't even include "more and better blow jobs."

PZ Myers:

In case you were wondering, here’s a list of all the good things feminism has done for men.

The Inhumanity of Being of a Cop

Cops deny the humanity of people who are not cops, and in doing so destroy their own humanity. There is no solution to this, other than dismantling the entire law enforcement system in this country and building something very different from scratch.

At TPM, Aurin Squire talks candidly with cops who are family and friends, and discovers that even the least conservative and aggressive are too conservative and aggressive:

Our chorus of sad and angry laughter echoed through my head as I took notes— disbelieving laughter at how far we still had to go, but hope for how far we have come. (I was sitting in the student lounge at Juilliard, after all). The system was racist, yes, but after hearing officers describe their jobs, I realized the very nature of their profession is one of infuriating contradictions and compromises. Regardless of color, to be an American cop means being both powerful enough to take someone’s life, and powerless to change the societal systems that breed crime and fear.

“You can’t fix anything. You don’t have an answer. You have a mandate,” said Wright. “The ritual of doing the job”—seeing people at their worst, barking orders at them— “makes you disconnect from yourself and the world…It only takes three to five years for your humanity to be gone.”
Which makes it very easy to shoot to death a mentally ill teenaged girl.

Yes, there is undoubtedly something else they could have done. This was a mentally disturbed teen-age girl with a knife. They could have retreated, called for some help to try to talk her down or even used a taser if they really felt afraid for their lives. But why should they bother? This is easier. 

Remember, these cops have very tough jobs. We can't second guess their actions even when it might seem obvious to anyone with half a brain and the tiniest common sense that there might be other options besides opening fire on a disturbed teenage girl inside a police station. 
 How did we get here?  Another TPM piece gives a brief history of policing.

And Gaius Publius at Hullabaloo cites another piece on the origins of police and comments:
"The police were created to use violence"

I'll close with what for me is his main point. This is hard to believe, and hard to grasp, but it's the only way to make sense of news that comes at us like a train. Chris Hayes could do "killer cop goes free" stories from now till the rest of his life, never run out, and in our hearts, every one of us knows it. There's an endless supply of "killer cops" and their stories, most hidden from view, never prosecuted unless there's an outcry, and rarely even then.

So why is there seemingly no way ever to curb the violence of the police? The answer's in front of us. Because:
The police were created to use violence to reconcile electoral democracy with industrial capitalism. Today, they are just one part of the “criminal justice” system that plays the same role. Their basic job is to enforce order among those with the most reason to resent the system — in our society today, disproportionately among poor black people.
Every word a true one. Remember your Dickens, then remember that you can't have a world owned and harvested by men like David Koch and Jamie Dimon without an enforcement mechanism.
It continues in yet another example of cop terrorism, cop racism, cop power-tripping, cop attacks for no reason.

AynRandy's Disturbing World, Internet Edition

Now the Tribble-Toupeed One is is defending Cable Company Fuckery against an open, level-field Internet.

Whenever there's a choice to be made between Big Money being "free" to keep every last penny they touch and average people having the opportunity and the freedom to live a decent life, you know what he will choose. To the libertarian, abstract notions of liberty really just come down to property. That's all there is. That's why the words "parents own the children" trips so easily off of Paul's tongue. He literally can't see the world in any other way.

I'm sorry Rand. I'm a hard core civil libertarian but I seriously doubt I'm ever going to join a "leave me alone" coalition that tells half the population they have a right to private ownership of everything but their own body. That just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Neither am I a big fan of letting people die in the street. Just not my thing. But hey, I'm happy to exhort Democrats to join with Senator Paul any time he wants to co-sponsor legislation we can both agree upon. That's downright democratic.

Company With KY Contracts Still Serving Maggoty Meals

Aramark's criminally bad food service has been accused of causing riots in Kentucky prisons; how many people does it have to kill and how many millions of KY taxpayer dollars does it have to steal before we finally outlaw privatization?
A prison food vendor that underfeeds inmates and prepares food next to maggots could have its contract extended in Ohio.

Several lawsuits allege that Aramark Correctional Services, a Philadelphia-based company, violates prisoner rights by failing to provide enough food and preparing food in unsanitary conditions. On multiple occasions, maggots were spotted in Ohio prison kitchens. Facilities reportedly ran out of main courses, and inmates were fed white bread and peanut butter instead. Employee absenteeism was also cited as a major problem in the past, while many workers had illegal sexual encounters with inmates. Collectively, Aramark’s contract violations forced the state to fine the company $272,000, although its endemic service failures extend to other parts of the country as well.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Decline of a 20,000-Year-Old Con

Despite the gay marriages happening everywhere you look, marriage in general appears to be in decline.

Don't panic; it's a good thing.
Fewer people are getting married for the same reason fewer people attend church or consider themselves religious:  A 20,000-year-old con game is falling apart.
It's no coincidence that religion and marriage appeared during the same stage of human development. They are both:
  • methods of social control
  • sold as social benefits
  • to people who need them as social crutches
Now the need for social crutches is disappearing:
  • science has answered virtually all of the natural mysteries that people used to attribute to a deity.
  • rapid economic change has eliminated the old sex-and-child-rearing-in-exchange-for-financial-security contract that required marriage.
Women can support themselves financially and don't need to marry for money.
The sexual revolution and contraception made frequent, excellent sex available for both men and women without either marriage or religion.
The marks are waking up and rejecting the old lies.



Hicks was a gun nut, and all of this reveals a huge problem with the gun nuts' worldview. The gunners want you to believe that they're armed for self-defense, or for defense of a commonly agreed-upon notion of the community. But too many gun owners decide that they're the ones who get to decide what community values are and what crimes are. They're like anti-vaxxers: They don't care what professionals or people with expert knowledge think, and they don't care what the rest of the community thinks; they're going to make unilateral decisions, and to hell with what impact this has on the community. Sorry, but you can't trust people who think that way with the power of life and death over others.

Any Prayer in School is Unconstitutional

Way past time to stop pretending that "Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion" means anything other than "keep any hint of religion of any kind the fuck away from public institutions, morons."

The Senate Judiciary Committee signed off on a bill Thursday to allow voluntary student expression of religious or political viewpoints in public schools.
The sponsor of Senate Bill 71, Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, said it would allow student-initiated and student-led prayer at public school events, such as football games.

The measure, which is supported by the Family Foundation of Kentucky, now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

The issue received publicity in 2011 when the state Department of Education told the Bell County school district that prayer over the public-address system before football games was unconstitutional.
Bell County school officials ended the tradition of having a minister lead prayer over the public-address system before high school football games because of a complaint from a Wisconsin-based group that promotes the separation of church and state.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky said Thursday that it had concerns about Robinson's bill.

ACLU program director Derek Selznick said the proposal might be well-intentioned, but it was "an unnecessary attempt to overregulate in an area already protected by the First Amendment."

He said the bill would prohibit Kentucky's school boards and public universities from denying funding to student organizations that discriminated against members based on sexual orientation or religion.
No law, regulation or custom stop any student from praying their guts out - silently. But when they force other students to listen, that's a violation of others' constitutional rights.


Divine Irony:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cheating: The Rich vs.The Poor


While research still shows the wealthy are more likely to show unethical behavior, a new study suggests the rich cheat for themselves, and the poor cheat to help others.

GOP Health Regs

Stolen from Juanita Jean:


"Our kids will only do better than we did if we educate them better than we were educated."

And that will only happen, Mr. President, if we restore the billions of state and federal dollars ripped away from public education by the Know-Nothing Caucus.

Full transcript here.

How To End Unemployment

We could, of course, just borrow $10 trillion now while interest rates are negative (that means the lenders pay us to borrow their money), and hire 10 million Americans at good salaries and benefits to do all the things the federal government should be doing but isn't: inspecting pipelines, building highways, caring for children and the elderly, building schools, maintaining parks, counseling addicts and mental health patients, building water and sewer lines and treatment plants, helping nurses in hospitals and everything else that is not getting done around here because we're letting private fucking corporations steal tax dollars for not doing it.
Or ....
Alongside Friday's good employment data, there is a brouhaha on the Internets over claims that the government's employment numbers are a "big lie." Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of the Gallup polling company penned "The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment," claiming that "the media" is "cheer-leading" and the White House is "scor[ing] political points" over phony numbers that the government makes up to make things look better than they are.

In fact, the "top line" unemployment number – now 5.7 percent, representing 9 million people, does not factor in people who have given up looking, 6.8 million part-time workers who want to work full-time, 2.2 million "marginally attached" people, people who are grossly underpaid, etc. But everyone knows that, and the government reports that. The "official" number has a specific definition, the "U-6 "alternative measure of labor under-utilization" reports the more accurate 13.5 percent number. So somewhere between 15 and 20 million Americans count as un- or underemployed. But even that doesn't count those who have given up. It's still bad out there, but the government's figures are not being manipulated.

Intentionally High Unemployment
I want to suggest that this high un- and underemployment is intentional. Here is why. Two things that the government could easily do right now would pretty much get rid of unemployment. But our government is blocked from doing those things by extremely wealthy people, who benefit from the low wages, and a desperate and "cowering" reserve army of unemployed status quo.

We got here by cutting taxes for the rich, gutting government, deferring maintenance, a and letting a few billionaires harvest our public wealth through privatization, etc. We'll get out of it by fixing the trade deficit, repairing our infrastructure, undoing policy mistakes that have continued since the Reagan era, and ending "trickle down" tax cuts.

How do we take this a step further? The following things would employ tons of people and bring a long-term economic return far above any “cost.”


There is so much we could do to first bring about full employment, and then move our economy into the 21st century. But we are held back by this weird Reagan/Wall Street/conservative ideology that tells us not to believe that We the People deserve a government that spends to make our lives better. That spending boosts us up now, makes our lives better, and more than pays for itself later. But we are kept from dreaming and doing because that return on our investment would go to us, instead of into the pockets of a few billionaires.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Eric Alterman at The Nation:

The French and British have shown what happens when the world pays attention to Fox, and demonstrated that mockery and derision are the only appropriate reaction to the nonsense it sells. Fox is the Nigerian prince/penis-enlargement pill of the American news landscape. It ought to be a genuine “no-go zone” for anyone who cares about truth in politics.
(emphasis mine)

Maybe KY Repugs Want to Get Rid of AynRandy

There is a deep bench of hate-filled, freakazoid morons in the state GOP just slavering for a chance at the Tribble-Toupeed One's U.S. Senate seat.
So why should the party save Paul's selfish, cheating ass by letting him run for both Senate and the presidential nomination at the same time?

After all, the reason Paul doesn't want to give up his Senate candidacy is because he's a coward who worries that maybe repug primary voters won't think he's all that and a bag of chips.
Staying on the ballot for Senator is the only hope he has of still having a government job in January 2017.

Steve Benen at Maddowblog:
On the one hand, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is a stickler for the rules and legal limits. "We can't be for the rule of law at our own convenience," the senator has said.
On the other hand, laws sometimes get in Rand Paul's way.
Requesting help to avoid a "costly and time-consuming legal challenge," U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is asking members of the Republican Party of Kentucky to create a presidential caucus in 2016 that would happen well ahead of the May primary election.
In a letter dated Feb. 9, Paul told GOP leaders that an earlier presidential preference vote would give Kentuckians "more leverage to be relevant" in the wide-open competition for the Republican presidential nomination.
But as the senator conceded, the goal here is not solely about improving Kentucky's "relevance"; this is about helping him advance his personal ambitions.

Definition of "Brownback" - Spread the Word

Truly, the mendacity, hate-mongering and rich-cock-gobbling of the repug fanatic has no bottom.

Apologies to the Rude Pundit for copying his entire post, but it is just too perfect to excerpt.  And you should be reading the Rude Pundit every day anyway.

Kansas Governor, and a sexual position just waiting to be defined, Sam Brownback has decided that the best way to distract everyone from the fiscal fisting of his economic policies is to remind everyone that queers are icky and no one should be forced to work in the same building with them. Brownback (definition: fucking in a bed after a diarrhea accident there) issued an executive order that rescinded protections for LGBT state employees, and he did it in the pussiest way possible: not by outright saying, "Man, fuck those fags," but by saying who is protected and excluding the Kansans who are friends or lovers of Dorothy.

To go further with his wimpy stab at equal rights, Brownback (definition: two partners take a bunch of Ex-Lax and then use a double-sided dildo to go ass-to-ass) claimed that the former governor, Kathleen Sebelius, was wrong in using an executive order to expand job protections. So, in his statement on his order, he said, "Any such expansion of ‘protected classes’ should be done by the legislature and not through unilateral action." That's some courageous ass-covering there.

So if you're trans and work for the glamorous Kansas State Child Death Board, for instance, you can be fired if your supervisor thinks you wear those earrings better than her. And there's nothing you can do about it because you're not protected.

It's so appalling that even some Republicans have a problem with the decision by Brownback (definition: when you're fucking in a field and roll into cow shit, but you don't stop fucking). Said one GOP legislator, "No one should be made to feel ashamed of who they are and I don’t think anyone should ever lose their job for being gay." Yeah, well, whatcha gonna do about it? Legislate? Someone's gonna be primaried.

Just to be clear: Kansas is so broke because of the tax cuts passed by the governor and his radicals in the legislature a couple of years ago that, in this fiscal year, $28 million will be taken away from public schools, starting on March 7. But it's more important right now to allow homophobes to treat people unfairly and possibly upend a bunch of lives. Man, some people have Jesus shoved so far up their asses that they can feel his crown of thorns on their uvulas.

Maybe a Brownback is actually when the state of Kansas just takes unending dumps on you.

KY Union Members Stop Anti-Worker Legislation

Don't be fooled by the bill descriptions: "right-to-work" means the right of employers to eliminate all wage, safety and benefit protections for workers; "repealing prevailing wage" means cutting pay you can live on down to minimum-wage starvation

The state House dems stood with workers this time, but repugs are just practicing for the 2017 session after repugs take the House in the 2016 elections.

Jack Brammer at the Herald:

Union workers flooded the state Capitol on Thursday to express their disdain for bills that would allow people to work for unionized employers without joining the union and repeal the prevailing-wage requirement for school construction projects.

They liked what they heard in the House Labor and Industry Committee.

The panel overwhelmingly voted down Senate Bill 1, the so-called right-to-work bill sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, and SB 9, the prevailing-wage measure sponsored by Sen. Wil Schroder, R-Campbell County.
Every worker in the Commonwealth wins when unions beat back the workers-are-just-serfs forces.  They did the same thing last year, but they won't be able to keep doing it alone, people.
more here:

Thursday, February 12, 2015



Anyway, in case it's actually necessary to say it, I condemn the killing of people, period, by atheists or anyone in the name of religion or anything else.  I'm against it, no matter who is perpetrating the act and that includes the state when it executes people, by the way. If this guy down in North Carolina killed those people because he was an atheist who hates Muslims he is a psycho. But I'm not going to "disavow" him because we aren't members of an "organization" and we don't share an identity. It makes no sense to me that the fact that I don't believe in something that he doesn't believe in either would make me responsible for his actions.